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Monday, July 03, 2006


Despite the poor team performance of the Phillies, it's nice to have three legitimate All Star representatives from the Phillies who all deserve to be there. It's especially nice to have an elected starter. The All Star voting is sort of like political elections. The first part is name recognition. I'm sure that more fans have heard of Biggio than Utley, especially after Biggio's team was in the World Series. For Utley to win his spot is quite an accomplishment for him. Howard's hitting numbers have earned him a spot along with Flash's solid performance as a closer.

Maybe the National League can win this year. All the Beerleaguers will be happy because Bell and Burrell won't be playing in this game!

Does anyone know if Abreu is doing the Home Run Derby again this year? I saw Howard is doing it but hadn't heard about anything about Robert Kelly Abreu.

Abreu has to first be elected to the allstar team, then he has a decision to make as to whether he will perform or not. Maybe if he gets selected, he should do it again, and try to get his power back, since he left it at the last HR derby.

My crystal ball says Nomar will win the last coveted spot on the All Star team. Abreu will be resting up for the rest of this dismal season.

Always an interesting time of year. Mark Redman and his 5.59 ERA represent Kansas City as the least deserving player on the team. Francisco Liriano and Justin Verlander will battle for the internet vote. No-brainer here: Vote goes to lights-out Liriano, 9-1 1.99 ERA, 81.1 IP, 94 Ks. Hip-hip hooray for Dan Uggla, who deserves it much more than Craig Biggio. Nobody had Freddy Sanchez penciled in as an all-star before the season began, nor Gary Matthews Jr or Jose Lopez. But I'm glad they're there. Here's hoping Billy Wags does NOT get the vote. Vote Bobby or Nomar. The American League sends eight outfielders, meaning some very deserving players could stay home (Ramon Hernandez, Travis Hafner) Plenty of big-name snubs: Curt Schilling, Mike Mussina, Roy Oswalt, Jason Giambi. Small-time snubs: Curtis Granderson, Dan Haren, Justin Morneau, Nick Johnson, Carl Crawford, Dav Roberts, Aaron Cook, Aaron Harang.

Mark Redman an all-star...ha! I know every team must be represented, but was he really K.C.'s best option? Anyway, I'm very glad to see Utley and Howard on the team, and I want to see them stay Phillies for a long time as well!

Besides Mark Redman (ha ha), doesn't the American League roster seem far superior to the National League. Especially the pitchers. I will be shocked with the NL wins this game but who ever knows with All-Star games.

The AL could smoke the NL all-stars just with the players that were snubbed from spots (Liriano, Giambi, Schilling, Mussina, Hafner)

Royals are 27-53 so far. What do you say to your fans if your David Glass?

If Abreu makes it (I dont think he will) wouldnt it be his 3rd straight?

The last spot will go to Nomar or Delgado.

35% of the entire MLB roster are from the Mets, Sox (white & red) and the Yanks.

Shouldnt they use a DH in the all star game regardless of the stadium?

NL team is almost perfect (in terms of who deserves it) in my book. I can't believe the Mets fans actually got LoDuca in there. AL is much worse, though. I disagree with Jason on Matthews--the AL does not need all those OFs, Hafner/Giambi/Morneau/etc. are all much more deserving in my book, Giambi especially who is the best 1B in the AL but got screwed by the fact that Ortiz and Thome are masquerading as 1B.

Buehrle getting in over Mussina, even before he got hit for 10 or 11 runs yesterday, is a joke. Contreras started well, but his ERA has ballooned, and Schilling probably deserves it over him. Kenny Rogers is perhaps Detroit's 3rd or 4th best pitcher right now--speaking of which, giving the best team in baseball just two representatives is a bit of a slap in the face, even if they don't have many star performers. Carlos Guillen is outhitting both Tejada AND Michael Young. And not putting in Liriano to start with was just dumb.

Also, this is just a random aside: where's the love for B.J. Ryan? His numbers are actually BETTER than Jonathon Papelbon's, yet in ESPN's sportsnation poll for Cy Young, he's not among the EIGHT candidates, and it's not as if he's playing on a bad team.

If you think Redman is a bad choice, remember back to 2003, when Mike Williams represented the Pirates. His era was about 6.00, but after the all-star break the Phils were able to pick up this so-called closer. He didn't help the Phils and his career was over.

I forgot to mention Guillen. That's a good one. There's a long, long list of players that got snubbed in the AL. Hafner leads the league in OPS. Voters need to pick between the league-leader in ERA and the league leader in OPS. I would agree both deserves to be there more than Matthews Jr etc., etc.


In general BJ is better than Papelbon. Papelbon has a slightly lower ERA (.43 to .45) and that's about it. However, that ERA was as low as 0.25 before Utley hit that homer last week. Papelbon also has 25 saves in 37 appearances to Ryan's 22 in 37. I'd say they're comparable closers right now and Ryan was snubbed.

Oh and no reliever should ever win the Cy Young, I dont care if they save 162 games with an ERA of 0.00

Sorry that previous post was by me, not adam, meant to put in the box. Call me Charlie Manuel

For That Dude's proposal for the DH, in the All Star game there is a defacto DH rule in that pitchers are pinch hit for almost every time they would come up to bat anyway as this is really an exhibition game. Good thought, though, it would make sense to institute if the All Star Managers did send up their pitchers to bat.

I can never get too worked up over the who goes, who doesn't debates because I'm never sure about the criteria. Is it "the best players in the first half of the season" all stars or should it be "the best players currently in the game" all stars? Or is is just "the most popular players on the most popular teams" all stars?

Even as a mere popularity contest, it's gotta be the worst voting system imaginable and probably the only time any internet poll results in anything other than pure bs. Then again, the all-star game is pretty much just bs.

You nailed it, Nat. I just can't bring myself to be moved about who makes and doesn't make the roster for the horrifically mishandled exhibition that is the all-star game. I might watch Howard to see what he does in the HR Derby, but the game itself is always dull and suspenseless. It'd be one thing if they played it like an actual game instead of changing positions and pitchers every single inning. MLB tries to do too much with it, and ends up with a dilution of baseball that's unenjoyable after the pre-game intros end.

But phew, that NL lineup is a stinker. Pujols is the only superstar the NL really has, it's sad and weird. And Abreu? Give someone else a turn. If he was an all-star in the first half, it escaped my attention.

The HR derby is the only part of the All-Star festivities I watch. I was at the '99 HR derby at Fenway where McGwire (alas I know now he was juiced) put on a clinic. I have been to alot of games at Fenway and never saw balls hit that far or long over the Monster.

I haven't watched a single inning of a single AS game in more than a decade. I am always pleased when deserving players are elected and always amused when the inevitable second-guessing and griping follow the election or selection of players who are far less so. In that category I would suggest that Bobby Abreu, OBP notwithstanding, isn't an AS this year; I would vote for Nomar Garciaparra for the final spot...if I were voting. Which brings me among other reasons to why I find the entire enterprise a huge bore; the voting. Any process than encourages people to stuff the ballot box is a farce. In this case, MLB urges fans to vote early and often via the web, up to 25 times. I assume they encourage such shenanigans hoping that a fan will fail to uncheck the boxes that will produce a subsequent flood of unwanted emails promoting everything from tickets to retro jerseys to who knows what.

Welcome back, Carlos Ruiz! 1st ML homerun. Injuries intervene for the Phillies where logic does not.

Indeed it was a good first game back for Ruiz, who took fine advantage of Hensley's belt-high-inside-half-of-the-plate-fastball-mistake to hit his bomb. Now with his first multiple-hit game in the big leagues, Ruiz hopefully will have the kind of hitting confidence that he had displayed in AAA before his prior call-up. After seeing his AAA BA drop about 70 points after he was sent down, Ruiz has stabilized at around .300 for the past couple of weeks, while showing some power. Phillies management now will undoubtedly give Ruiz a run of back-to-back starts now, until and unless Ruiz shows he can't hit major league pitching, particularly major league curve ball pitching.

Well, if Ruiz stands in the way of the far more important priority of Chris Coste's development, I hope he'll do nothing but fail. I'm sure he will, as we see that even when he hits homeruns, they come on ridiculously easy pitches that even I, who have obviously never played the game, could hit 400 feet.

RickShuBlues, my description of the fat "mistake" pitch that Ruiz hit is not original - the description "belt-high-inside half of the plate fastball" came from the Phillies' radio play-by-play call of yesterday's game. Even you understand that Ruiz is 28 1/2 years old, and is no 22-year-old phenom. In my opinion, the opinion of one who *did* play the game at that position, albeit at the high school level, the concept, popular among many Phillies fans, and indeed Philies management as well, that Ruiz is the Phillies "catcher-of-the-future", is misplaced. Of course, time - meaning the immediate future - will tell, as Ruiz assuredly will now be given a solid run of starts right now by Phillies management. It should be noted that in addition to Ruiz' first HR, Ruiz also had the following other "firsts" yesterday: (1) Ruiz' HR was his first extra base hit in the big leagues in 38 at bats; and (2) yesterday was Ruiz' first multiple-hit game in the big leagues. The following stats are undeniable: (1)While Ruiz, as of today, has one (1) multiple-hit game in the bigs (in 38 at bats), Coste has four (4) multiple-hit games (in only 34 at bats); (2) While Ruiz is hitting .184, with a .263 slugging average after today, Coste is hitting .294, with a .353 slugging average; (3) Coste has scored six (6) runs while Ruiz, in more at bats, has scored two (2) runs; (4) Both Coste and Ruiz have 3 RBI's; and finally, (5) while Ruiz has thrown out two of five baserunners attempting to steal (40%), Coste has thrown out three of the four baserunners who have attempted to run on him (70%), including the Mets' Reyes, the NL's leading basestealer, and the Red Sox' speedy Coco Crisp, both of whom Coste threw out at second base from his knees. Why bother with this comparison, upon these admittedly limited statistics for both Ruiz and Coste? Because, as I stated above, Phillies management will now undoubtedly give Ruiz a full string of back-to-back starts, something Coste has *never* been given since he was brought up on May 21st. For example, Coste certainly deserved yesterday's start, both after Coste's "two-for-three-with-a-double-two-runs-scored-and-RBI" performance in taking over after Fasano's injury in Toronto on Sunday, but most importantly, because of Coste's 10 hits in his last 22 at bats (a .455 BA clip)since June 16th! But, as usual, Coste did not get the start yesterday, even though he was already with the big club, and Ruiz was the minor leaguer coming back up. Perhaps Ruiz will be able to hit major league pitching (particularly major league curve balls) now in his second trip to Philadelphia. But then again, maybe not. One thing is certain. Ruiz will get ample opportunity. Either way, Coste deserves more playing time, and a better "shot", than he has been given thus far. That is my only point. I'll be on a plane and will be delayed in responding to your inevitable response, RickShuBlues, but perhaps we'll see each other at tonight's game.

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